Tomorrow morning I will be heading to Japan for my 4th visit. It is part of a journey I have so far called “my search for tenkara”. On my first visit I discovered the method (and as a result decided to introduce it outside of Japan). My second visit served to learn the techniques and what makes tenkara a complete method. The third visit, 2 months spent in a mountain village, allowed me to dive deeply into tenkara. I have met, interviewed and fished with several of the long-time masters of tenkara, learning directly from them what tenkara is. I also spent time with some of the so-called “3rd generation” of tenkara anglers, young tenkara anglers that have been pushing the sport forward (albeit in much subtler ways than what we may see here).
As I prepare my suitcase and finalize my schedule, I have to ponder, what else is there to seek? What else can I learn about tenkara? What are the things that would be of interest to the readers of this blog?
Although what I learn and share about tenkara can be seen as a “business”, this trip like all others are part of a personal journey. Everything I do, I do because it interests me greatly on a personal level. What I experience, what I learn, and what I capture are as much for my own enjoyment and self-enrichment as for sharing. I visit Japan and fish with long-time practitioners of tenkara because I like sharing tenkara as it is practiced in its country of origin. I am not good at inventing new things, tinkering with accessories, or making up a new method. I much prefer to tell a story, and to share what is waiting to be shared.
I have scheduled time to fish and spend time with teachers and friends. I have also scheduled time to visit tenkara rod makers, tenkara line suppliers, and even tenkara fly tiers. I have also scheduled time to simply fish. And, finally, I have made sure I have time that is not scheduled, which will allow tenkara to take me where it will. I’ll try to share as much as I can throughout the trip.
As I prepare to embark on this trip, I have to ask you, what are the things you’re most interested in learning? Seeing? Reading?